Battlefleet Gothic Does Galactic-Scale 40K In March

It might not openly be about spaceships which listen to The Sisters of Mercy, but I think the spirit’s there. I wrote only yesterday that the darkly cute Dawn of War aesthetic seems to be the de facto look for Warhammer 40,000 games, and now here’s Battlefleet Gothic proving me wrong, and trying to look like the sort of ornate and broody artwork (think ‘powersuited murder-Catholicism”) we see on the front of Games Workshop sourcebooks. This is the game in which Warhammer 40,000’s eternal battle goes galactic, as the 40K universe’s biggest hitters send a few thousand tonnes of extremely spiky flying steel to blow holes in each other. We’ve known about Armada [official site], Tindalos Interactive’s PC adaptation of the tabletop game, for a year now, and the thing’s out in March.

Here’s a new story trailer, stitched out cutscenes, demonstrating the well-worn Imperium vs Chaos tale as well as showing off planetary-scale destruction. Appropriate end-of-the-universe soundtrack, too.

If you want to know what all that apocalyptic space-war looks like in practice, here’s in-game footage:

And there’s also this, showcasing the old-but-gold ships of Imperium:

It’s due out March – no specific day’s been named yet – and if you’re heretical enough to pre-order it without having read any OPINIONS first, you’ll get early access to a multiplayer beta and an additional Space Marines fleet. Fortunately/sensibly, said fleet will also be given to anyone who buys the game within two months of release. The Emperor of Man would approve. Actually he’d just slump inertly on his life support machine and then someone would pretend to interpret it as a psychic directive to go blow up someone’s planet, but that’s beside the point.


  1. c-Row says:

    What worries me most is that YouTube’s automatic subtitles apparently know the right spelling of the four Chaos Gods.

    • Erayos says:

      I’m not sure they’re really “automatic” subtitles though.

  2. GernauMorat says:

    “powersuited murder-Catholicism” is an exact description

  3. WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

    “Actually he’d just slump inertly on his life support machine and then someone would pretend to interpret it as a psychic directive to go blow up someone’s planet, but that’s beside the point.”

    That sounds disturbingly like heresy, Mr Meer. I shall inform Ordo Hereticus with the utmost selerity.

    The Emperor Protects.

    • SirRoderick says:


      That seems an awful lot like incorrect spelling of “Celerity”! I shall report this to the Ordo Grammaticus immediately!

      …I do apologise but I couldn’t help myself. I think the Inquisition would be QUITE the grammar/spelling Nazi :P

      • Syra says:

        How have you gained proscribed knowledge about this archaeohistorical “Nazi” faction scribe?

        I shall alert the Ordo Chronos at once!

        • unacom says:

          I think we´re well past the point where three red-robed men burst in unexpectedly…

          • SirRoderick says:

            Can we use the golden Throne as the comfy chair?

          • tattertech says:

            Our chief weapon is surprise… surprise and power weapons… Our two weapons are surprise and power weapons… and exterminatus. Our THREE weapons are surprise, power weapons, and exterminatus and an almost fanatical devotion to the golden throne.

          • aere1985 says:

            Thanks, I needed this on a thursday afternoon! :)

      • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

        Quite right, of course it is spelled with a C! It’s especially unforgivable that I should make that mistake since “celeritas” is one of the few words of Latin that I actually remember! Ordo Grammaticus commends you.

  4. GernauMorat says:

    Heads up, you have posted the Imperium trailer twice, as opposed to the story one (which gave me quite a nerdgasm. Looks true to the source material!)

  5. Captain Deadlock says:

    So that’s just normal Catholicism, then

    • unacom says:

      nope. it´s like catholicism but with rabid political zeal added. just like in russian orthodoxy.

      • SirRoderick says:

        Pretty much Soviet Russian politics merged with the mentality of the Crusades and Inquisitions. Modern Catholicism is a wet noodle compared to the old Fire and Brimstone ways. :P

        • Zephro says:

          What Soviet Russian stuff is there, other than a nod to commissars?

          • SirRoderick says:

            I meant more the overall zeal and military skew. I suppose fascists would work just as well.

          • unacom says:

            not soviet. actual russian orthodoxy. solidly intertwined in every political aspect of yociety. rabidly anti-everything unorthodox. fire and brimstone polemics, absurdly large amounts of incense, gold-plating. the soviet thing ist just commissars and five guys for a gun…

          • Zephro says:

            It’s true of most rabid nations through history. The Tsarist armies used to have Orthodox priests around blessing the troops all the time.

            Then again it borrows/pastiches from soooo many sources it’s hard to pin any one thing on 40K. Dune definitely didn’t inspire it at all. Nope not a bit, it’s totally unique intellectual property for purposes of suing people.

      • cpt_freakout says:

        Like Anglicanism with a dash of Shinto and the politics of Sendero Luminoso. Am I doing this right already, guys?


  6. Zephro says:

    It is looking faithful to BSG the game which is one of my favourite board/miniature games ever made.

    “It might not openly be about spaceships which listen to The Sisters of Mercy, but I think the spirit’s there”


  7. unacom says:

    It´s definitely sratching an itch with me…
    let´s see how the single-player-campaign is working out.

  8. Chiron says:

    I’m really hovering over the pre-order button for this, I was impressed by Mordheim after all.

    I’ve not given much of a fig about Warhammer: Total War: The Warring but this… well, its giant frigging space ships with Cathedral decorations, how can it not be good?

  9. Titus Groen says:

    Cor, my computer is sobbing from watching that gameplay video. It’s gorgeous.

    • SirRoderick says:

      I am at work and REALLY annoyed that all that goodness is being blocked. Can’t even watch it over wifi during my break x3

  10. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    I really do approve of this approach to preorder bonuses, allowing you to read reviews when the game comes out but still potentially get the goodies.

    More of this sort of thing, developers.

    • Kagemusha says:

      I was thinking the same thing when I saw the store page on Steam. It’s really refreshing to have a company both clearly communicate that their pre-order reward is available post release, and that the bonus applies to purchases made in first 2 months.

      More of this please.

  11. Shadow says:

    By the Emperor, it looks glorious!

  12. NephilimNexus says:

    Do they really think we’ll be bored with XCOM2 that fast?

  13. Retzinsky says:

    Normally I’m on board with the whole “preordering is stupid” thing but they are pushing all the right buttons so far with this. I really wish they’d release an actual gameplay video (as in, somebody actually playing a mission/multiplayer match and not a trailer with occasional glimpses of the UI) but I may have to accept that I’ve taken leave of my senses and order anyway considering it’s on sale.

    I’m not even sure why I’m quibbling over preordering one game. Compared to this year’s other relatively blind preorder a potential loss of £27 is considerably less idiotic.

  14. zarthrag says:

    Looks fun, but all I see is another 2D RTS…

    …in SPACE!

    I mean, by virtue of the very name. why?

    • Chiron says:

      3D is a fucking nightmare to code for and plan campaigns and AI for?

    • Phantasma says:

      As many games treat their spaceships like modern day navy vessels anyway, i can live with a 2D plane if the rest is done well.
      Interesting tactics and intricate mechanics are possible without a Z axis too. Again, IF done right.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I’m a fan of 3D in space games, but 2D works okay for battleships at ridiculously close range like this. Or rather, 2D with some AI fighters swarming around the heavies in 3D. It’s “pizza box 3D,” and it worked okay in the recent Rebel Galaxy game once I got used to it. Probably much easier to code decent AI that way too.

      I think it would be great to get another Homeworld-type game in full 3D, but I can still understand why games are made this way. Especially when you need a lot of spectacular eye candy with close range encounters. Full 3D in an RTS works better at longer range, where you can get an overview of the positioning.

  15. PancakeWizard says:

    This could end up being quite the hit if they are sensible with adding new factions as DLC to keep it going.

    I hope they do a Man O War game follow up.

    • sosolidshoe says:

      @PancakeWizard: link to

      Not the same guys doing it, and Corsair is apparently more like Sid Meier’s Pirates: Warhammer Edition, but we’ll have to see if it’s any good or not.

  16. Ufofighter says:

    Has any kind of macro strategic layer been confirmed?

  17. Phantasma says:

    I don’t know much about the 40k universe but i really fancy engaging tactical capital ship games. So i hope it turns out well.

    Still not sure if i could take all the grimdarkness seriously. Or rather NOT seriously.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yeah, that’s my problem too. We’ve had very few capital ship combat space games, and I can handle the slightly cartoonish feel of something like Rebel Galaxy. But I’ve never been into the 40K thing and only played one Dawn of War RTS game.

      That whole 40k universe is just hard to relate to, probably because I didn’t get into it at the right age. I like my sci-fi dry, without a layer of fantasy on top. Still, if it’s a good capital ship space combat game, I’ll get it.

      • gunny1993 says:

        I think you’ll find Warhammer is fantasy with a layer of Sci-Fi ontop, like star wars. Shadowrun would be Sci-fi with a layer of fantasy.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        W40k is fantasy sci-fi during a Dark Age. It’s pretty unique.

    • Phantasma says:

      Also: Inquisitor HORST???

      Can’t stop laughing.

  18. MaxMcG says:

    Kind of reminds me of Nexus The Jupiter Incident – that old, kind of slow paced but enjoyable capital ship RTS. I’ve wanted something like that for ages.

  19. Red_Fox says:

    What a wasted opportunity to make a great game.

    Why do game designers for the past decade insist upon making space navel battle games which are set in a 3D XYZ vector environment limited to just 2D? These ships might as well be on an invisible floor with pretty surroundings.

    Starwars Empire at War was the same way.

    If homeworld from 1999 could do it then these could. But they’re just lazy or incompetent.

    • Shadow says:

      As far as I know, Armada is an adaptation of the tabletop wargame, Battlefleet Gothic, which is itself 2D.

      The Homeworld games did it, but did they really make use of it? I’m not so sure. Wet navy-like space combat in 3D isn’t significantly more realistic than wet navy-like space combat in 2D.

      Without an actual simulation remotely approaching proper space travel, this is just arguing about what’s essentially a gimmick.

      • Ufofighter says:

        “The Homeworld games did it, but did they really make use of it? I’m not so sure.”
        Campaing could be done ignoring the vertical axis with the exception of a mission, in multiplayer it was incredibly important though.

    • MattMk1 says:

      Because any space naval game of interest to an audience not limited to former Harpoon players is going to have to take huge liberties with the realities of space travel and be massively unrealistic anyway, so they figure (probably correctly) that most people won’t care about one more layer of abstraction?

      It’s been a very long time since I tried Homeworld, but I don’t recall it really using the 3D aspect for anything besides novel aesthetics.

      • Shadow says:

        I’ll add that I’ve nothing against the concept of a space wargame with a focus on 3D and realistic space travel (i.e. mindful of orbital mechanics and the like), but of all universes, WH40K’s is probably one of the least appropriate for such degree in realism.

  20. silentdan says:

    Please don’t let this suck, please don’t let this suck, oh please please please don’t fuck this up. I love Warhammer 40k, but goddamn, half the games made with that license just stink out loud. I’d pray for a great game, but I’m not even sure who to pray to. Probably not Nurgle, but Khorne’s favour would make the combat better, and Slaanesh would revel in the sensory overload of an epic space battle. I think I’m just going all in, though. I’m praying to Tzeentch, hoping to appeal to his love of perfection.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Risky to pray to Tzeentch, love of change means in 5 months it will be a free to play moba

      • SirRoderick says:

        Personally, I can always count on the machine spirit to ensure a smoothly running game! *prepares the necessary unguents and incenses*

  21. heretic says:

    This actually looks really good! Wasn’t on my radar but it is now.

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    Oakreef says:

    needs more tau

  23. Tiax says:

    That UI ?!?

    Nexus : The Jupiter Incident is, is that you ?